In this Groundhog Day edition of Throwdown Thursday, we were treated to a matchup of #BrainsVSBrawn with Zin Ramu and his Team Feed Me wrecking crew matching up against Otterhed and the cerebral Squirrel Posse. When Zin Ramu comes to play, the community always wants to know if we’re going to end up seeing #HappyRamu or #SadRamu once the dust has settled. While FilthieRich and MrSil were introducing the teams, Berserker Mike wasn’t shy about sharing his opinion. He held up a sign on camera encouraging Squirrel Posse to “Make Ramu Sad Again.”  Would Mike be right in predicting the re-emergence of #SadRamu? Or would Zin Ramu overcome Otterhed’s mind games and bring out #HappyRamu once more?

Before we get into the recap, here’s a look at this season’s standings:

January 12: FeelsBauMan (L) vs. Squirrel Posse (W)
January 19: The Berserkers (L) vs. Team Feed Me (W)
January 26: FeelsBauMan (W) vs. The Berserkers (L)
February 2: Squirrel Posse (W) vs. Team Feed Me (L)
February 9: The Berserkers vs. Squirrel Posse
February 16: Team Feed Me vs. FeelsBauMan
February 23: Top-2 Team Playoff

Game 1

Score

Squirrel Posse: 0

Team Feed Me: 0

As promised, it didn’t take long for the Otterhed mind games to start. Squirrel Posse came out of the gate with a surprising dual Rawlins competency with Orgoth and DMac both doing the gunslinging while Otterhed tanked with Thorgrim and GLTovar supported with Alona. Team Feed Me also switched things up a bit with GucciPants tanking with Black Knight, Matty Awesome DPS-ing on Rawlins, MPriest nuking with Victor and Zin Ramu supporting with Alona. It seemed like one of those scenarios where the two coaches both out-thought each other. Otterhed’s dual Rawlins approach was meant to neutralize Zin Ramu’s Spartacus, but Zin Ramu’s team ended up fielding a composition without any Spartacus at all!

The game itself was a good one and very reminiscent of Game 1 from last week. Team Feed Me came out fast and concentrated on pushing the relic. Squirrel Posse seemed a bit disorganized and wasn’t ready for the pace of the attack. The first round was tightly contested and despite Otterhed wrecking shop with Thorgrim, it ended up in a territory win for Team Feed Me. Then I blinked and the 2nd round was over with Team Feed Me scoring in just 22 seconds. Just like that, Team Feed Me was up 2 rounds to none, but with one major caveat: they were also behind by a factor of two in the net worth game.

While Team Feed Me did a great job pulling out wins in the first two rounds, Squirrel Posse managed to snag the gold buff both times and build up a sizable economy advantage. As we’ve discussed in the past, more gold equals better items and better items equals the ability to break faster and sustain longer. It also seemed like the two Rawlins players on Squirrel Posse were discouraging Team Feed Me from building up too many Buildables around their base (since they’d get wrecked pretty quickly).

In round 3, Squirrel Posse kept their formation tight and did a much better job fighting off pushes from Team Feed Me who struggled to break them down. GLTovar broke through the defenses and Otterhed followed up with a rebound to score. By the beginning of round 4, the economy really started to tell; Squirrel Posse had four heroic items to none for Team Feed Me. Interestingly, up to this point both teams combined only managed one kill; it was much more about the pushing and counterattacking with the relic. Ultimately rounds 4 and 5 looked a lot like round 3; Team Feed Me tried to push, but Squirrel Posse held them off and managed to score twice more to take the game.

Game 2

Score

Squirrel Posse: 1

Team Feed Me: 0

Game 1 was a really close contest and both teams were content to jump into Game 2 with the same team compositions. In round 1, both teams seemed pretty evenly matched, but a couple moments of brilliance from GLTovar and Orgoth led to a Squirrel Posse score. Not to be outdone, round 2 showcased some great movement and passing by Team Feed Me and ultimately ended with MPriest managing to sneak in and score with Victor. That doesn’t happen much; maybe Victor scores should be worth two points? Round 3 was another quick push from Team Feed Me with Zin Ramu going straight for the relic and rushing the Squirrel Posse base. After some nice clear-outs by his teammates, Zin Ramu managed to break in and score to put Team Feed Me up 2 rounds to 1.

Going into round 4, Squirrel Posse once again had their backs against the wall, but this time, both the net worth and Kill/Death/Assist ratios for both teams were dead even. Without an inherent advantage in equipment, Squirrel Posse’s life was going to be much harder than in Game 1. Round 4 nearly ended in a territory win, but DMAC and Orgoth managed to pull off a coordinated move to score for Squirrel Posse with almost no time remaining. In round 5, it was once again the passing and movement of Squirrel Posse that resulted in a great DMAC score from an Otterhed assist. It turns out that when they’re running the relic, the Squirrel Posse are pretty, well, squirrelly.

Game 3

Score

Squirrel Posse: 2

Team Feed Me: 0

You could argue Team Feed Me had been pretty unlucky thus far. They played two really close games and were on game point both times before Squirrel Posse managed to claw their way back into it and steal the games. Looking to give themselves that extra edge, Team Feed Me tweaked things and went to a two tank composition moving GucciPants back onto his preferred character Thorgrim and transitioning Zin Ramu from Alona onto Black Knight.

That was a pretty significant change, but if you thought the double Rawlins composition was the end of the Otterhed mind games, you would be wrong. To the surprise of everyone, Squirrel Posse decided to debut the never-before-seen #4Grim team composition (thanks for hashtag, MrSil) comprising, as the name would imply, four Thorgrims. The idea that this team composition might be a little … troll-y … was floated more than once in Twitch chat.

In round 1, Squirrel Posse doubled down on the nutty strategy and had everyone buy Philosopher’s Stone as their first piece of equipment. The idea was that they would set up a forest of walls and demolition hammers and just grind out gold. While in theory the strategy works, it’s predicated on not dying. Unfortunately, Squirrel Posse died in combat a lot. Like, A LOT. By the end of the first round Team Feed Me had a team kill/death/assist ratio of 8/4/12 and the result was that, despite Squirrel Posse’s attempts at grinding gold, they died so much in combat that they just fed Team Feed Me. I mean, cmon, it’s in the name!

In round 2, Squirrel Posse doubled down on Philosopher’s Stone and Chalice for gold & healing, but the problem was that Thorgrim has low speed and attack damage by default, so if you don’t compensate for that with either equipment or a balanced team composition, life is going to be difficult. Round 2 ended with another Team Feed Me score on a sweet pass from GucciPants to MattyAwesome.

By round 3, it was pretty clear that Squirrel Posse’s strategy wasn’t really going to work. They were outmatched in teamfights and still lagging behind in the net worth game. Team Feed Me had an astounding team K/D/A of 18/7/31 which meant they were just bullying Squirrel Posse at every opportunity. This round was a foregone conclusion and, as you’d expect, Team Feed Me pushed the relic, swatted aside any resistance and scored to win the game.

Game 4

Score

Squirrel Posse: 2

Team Feed Me: 1

After the failed experiment that was Game 3, Squirrel Posse reverted back to the dual Rawlins team composition they used in games 1 and 2 while Team Feed Me forged ahead with the dual tank composition that wiped the floor with #4Grim in game 3.

Round 1 was exciting and had a real tug-of-war feel to it. Both teams came really close to scoring, but couldn’t quite force the relic into the relay. The round ultimately ended with an extremely tense territory win for Team Feed Me. Round 2 was more of the same in that both teams were probably kicking themselves for not capitalizing on the opportunities they had early on. There were some great individual plays, like this horribly sneaky ring out by Otterhed, but the round came down to a territory win again. This time the relic position favored Squirrel Posse after a frantic last few seconds and they tied things up one round to one.

Game 4 started feeling a lot like the early games in this match where there wasn’t much difference between the two teams and moments of individual brilliance had the potential to turn the tide. In round 3, that moment of brilliance came from Otterhed who tossed MattyAwesome off the map and then grabbed the relic and scored with a solo run to the relay. After so many hotly contested rounds, round 4 was almost a sucker punch. Team Feed Me was still reeling from a tough loss in round 3 and before they knew what happened, Squirrel Posse scored in 12 seconds in round 4 to win the game and the match.

The Roundup

Final Score

Squirrel Posse: 3

Team Feed Me: 1

This week the final score is a bit misleading. Squirrel Posse and Team Feed Me went to the full five rounds in the first two matches and with a little luck and a lot of skill, Squirrel Posse managed to just snatch victory from the jaws of defeat both times. Ignoring the anomalous troll hunt that was game 3, Squirrel Posse came back with a vengeance in game 4 and secured the win.

Team Feed Me seemed to have some trouble dealing with the dual Rawlins composition without a character like Spartacus to really chase down and harass the Squirrel Posse gunslingers. There was an aspect of “what could have been” for Team Feed Me if they had put GucciPants on Thorgrim from the start or if they managed to win a couple key rounds.

Regardless, after a promising win 2 weeks ago, it seems that on Groundhog Day this week Zin Ramu saw his shadow and it looks like we might be in for another six weeks of #SadRamu. Meanwhile Squirrel Posse is beginning to look unstoppable and it remains to be seen if anybody can knock them off of their perch at the top of the Breakaway Office League.

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